October 14, 2013

It's about Selling Clothes, not Praise for Outdoor Passions

At Clash Daily, Doug Giles likes it that Ralph Lauren is using some pseudo-vintage hunting photographs to promote a clothing line. He writes,
I'd like to personally thank Ralph Lauren for …

a.) Creating a line of clothes for dudes that’s not effeminate.
b.) Showcasing these awesome, traditional designs in a hunting and fishing context.

Hunters, Anglers and Outdoors-men: Check out RRL and show your support for Ralph’s praise of our passions by purchasing some of his bad ass threads
Me, not so much. Pseudo-vintage is just a tool for Lauren (born Ralph Lipshitz). Whether it is an East Coast WASP horses-and-sailboats vibe, or his fantasy-Western ranch outside Ridgway, Colorado, Lauren's designs often have a nose-pressed-to-the-glass feeling to them. "If only I could be one of those people."

But even if you have it, do you really have it? As Ed Quillen's review of a book about Ridgway and the "New West stated,"
[The book] will resonate in many other towns undergoing an uneasy transition from Old West to New West — a transition from neighbors who relied on each other to get through hard times to residents who moved there precisely because they don’t want neighbors and who remain isolated from the local economy.
And Lauren is Exhibit A.

Models in clothes with the flavor of 1910? Color me unimpressed.

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